(1958 - 1989) U.S.A.
Angel Estrada Rivera designer, who was born in Barcelona, Spain, went to New York with his family at the age of 3. He studied briefly at the Parsons School of Design and worked part time as a hair and makeup designer at Pucci Manikins, a mannequin manufacturer, while trying to start his own business in 1985. His first show was held that fall in the Pucci studio on lower Broadway.
Angel specialized in evening clothes that were elaborately constructed, sometimes using such dressmaking archaisms as boning and corsets to achieve stunning sculptural effects. Like armor, the dresses could stand up on a table alone. They were also unmistakably sexy but so expertly draped with fluid chiffon that they always retained a romantic, feminine quality. A 'Product That Would Endure'.
Within a year of Mr. Estrada's first collection, his clothes were on the cover of Vogue, which featured his satin bustier and bolero with black luggage zipper in its November 1986 issue. Angel, a shy man devoted to quality, continued to produce very small collections and limited-edition dresses, first out of a loft on Lafayette Street and later from his town house atelier on West 43d Street. His clothes, which were sewn in-house, were sold in stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and I. Magnin.
''He was not conscious of having a name, but of having a product that would endure,'' said Annie Flanders, the editor in chief of Details, a fashion magazine. ''He was a great technician, and his clothes were couture quality. They were so magnificently made, you could wear them inside out.''
He left a wealth of design ideas and directions. His widow, Anneliese, said yesterday that he had hoped his business, Angel Estrada, would be continued under the leadership of his sister, Virginia, a painter and sculptor who had worked on each of his collections.
In addition to his wife and sister, Angel is survived by another sister, Angie, and his mother, Sara, all of New York.
Angel Estrada, a who gave downtown chic a touch of old-world glamour, died of respiratory failure arising from AIDS at his Manhattan town house. He was 31 years old.